I find myself reminded of why I had to pull out of the fray of Social Media after the election last year.
Without too much replay, but to provide context… I was witness to people I care about, along with complete strangers, tear one another apart over the topic of:
Vegan vs Non-Vegan.
Everything from the ethics of eating eggs from your own backyard hens, to wolves in National Parks, to breastfeeding, to Economy-Ecology-Ethics.
I stepped out for a half day to think, and then in a moment of insomnia, came back with my final reply:
I need to Peace Out on this one.
Fucking take some breaths, people.
My departing advice, as a passionate RN, who has learned some hard lessons about Prioritizing and Politics, Policy, and Procedure…
1) Look at what HAS to happen vs what you would PREFER to have happen.
2) Prioritize. (*This is often much harder than it seems)
3) Think about what you can change, and what you simply cannot change.
4) Focus your energy where you think it will have the most impact.
5) Ask yourself if you think action “X” will really lead to desired change “Y.”
6) Before you jump to action, think first: “Will this really change the long-term outcome?”
7) Who am I arguing with? Am I turning away someone who is basically in, or near, my camp? Am I effectively searching for common ground?
(Grammar Police, help me; ‘Am I being effective in my search for common ground?‘)
8) If I want to achieve some long term change, how can I learn how to get people with opposing views to engage with me, and actually consider where my thoughts are coming from?
9) Am I at risk of letting my passion cloud my message?
10) Is my behavior respectful to, and of, the people I am trying to engage with?
And lastly, it is a cliché, but nonetheless, a Solid Gold Cliché:
PICK YOUR BATTLES CAREFULLY.
Some other day, I will write more about my own experiences as a vegetarian (never a vegan), the people I managed to piss off rather than impress when I was a 17 year old vegetarian-living-on-a-farm-who-had-all-the-answers, When/Why/How I started eating animal proteins again later in life, and other meaty nuggets of conversation. (Meaty, get it? Meaty Nuggets. Which reminds me that my childhood BF Chrissy used to call McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets Pinchin’ McKNuckles)
For now, at the hour of 0200 Portland, Oregon, time, and in the interest of being neither a constipated Meat Eater, nor a Constipated Writer, I shall end this run-on sentence and hit that Publish button. Cheers!